Navigation path

Themes
Agriculture & food
Energy
Environment
ERA-NET
Health & life sciences
Human resources & mobility
Industrial research
Information society
Innovation
International cooperation
Nanotechnology
Pure sciences
Research infrastructures
Research policy
Science & business
Science in society
Security
SMEs
Social sciences and humanities
Space
Special Collections
Transport

Countries
Countries
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Finland
  France
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece
  Hungary
  Iceland
  India
  Ireland
  Israel
  Italy
  Japan
  Kazakhstan
  Kenya
  Korea
  Latvia
  Lithuania
  Luxembourg
  Macedonia - former Yugoslav Republic
  Malta
  Mexico
  Montenegro
  Morocco
  Namibia
  Netherlands
  Nigeria
  Norway
  Peru
  Poland
  Portugal
  Romania
  Russia
  Senegal
  Serbia
  Slovakia
  Slovenia
  South Africa
  Spain
  Swaziland
  Sweden
  Switzerland
  Taiwan
  Tunisia
  Turkey
  Ukraine
  United Kingdom
  United States


   All

Last Update: 15-10-2012  
Related category(ies):
Industrial research  |  Success stories

 

Countries involved in the project described in the article:
Germany  |  Sweden
Add to PDF "basket"

PROMS and EAF-PROMS – The promise of stronger, lighter, greener steel

Steel is synonymous with strength: hard, durable, and resistant to much of what nature can throw at it. But modern life demands materials that are also light, ductile and eco-friendly.

© Fotolia, 2012

Now, thanks to two pioneering European Union (EU) projects, researchers have forged a steel that hits all those marks: an ultra-strong alloy with deformation properties can be manufactured with improved energy efficiency, offering a huge industrial potential.

The two EU projects, PROMS and EAF-PROMS, looked at ways of producing novel ultra strong steel grades with high manganese content.

A PROM ran from 2003 to 2006, and was backed by € 560,693 from the European Commission. Its follow-up, EAF-PROMS ran from 2006 to 2008, with € 391,661 in Commission backing and had a particular focus on steel production in electric arc furnaces (EAF).

High-strength steel alloys are particularly interesting for carmakers, allowing them to reduce car weights through thinner sheets. They also help conserve resources: lighter, fuel-efficient vehicles mean less overall steel use and ultimately less fuel consumption (by some estimates, up to 0.2 litres per 100 km) and carbon emissions.

There are other areas where these ultra-strong steels could be used, like high temperature energy production, where they resist oxidation and corrosion while maintaining ductility. “There is a whole range of industrial applications where these high strength steels could be used,” says Karl-Heinz Spitzer, one of the project leaders.

Manganese is crucial for the alloy, increasing depth of hardening and improving strength and toughness by up to three times. While most steels contain up to 1.2% manganese (and much smaller amounts of silicon, nickel, chromium, aluminium, molybdenum and copper), manganese steel alloys have around 13% manganese. However these projects looked at manganese proportions of between 10 and 25%.

But producing such high-manganese steels is tricky and requires a delicate balance of other elements to ensure the final alloys retains its qualities. Spitzer, a process metallurgy professor at the Clausthal University of Technology in the German town of Clausthal-Zellerfeld, says the key challenge was to develop a production process that brought all the elements together. “This high strength steel cannot be cast by conventional continuous casting,” he says. “It needs new production technologies. The projects showed that with the right combinations of elements, mass production of high-manganese steel grades is possible using either the blast furnace-basic oxygen converter route or the electric arc furnace route.”

Indeed, on the back of PROMS and EAF-PROMS, the projects’ industrial partner, Salzgitter AG steel group, decided to build the world‘s first line for production of high-manganese steel grades based on the electric arc furnace route. Salzgitter is using a strip casting production process, which means less energy and carbon dioxide use than traditional technologies: the low casting thickness – 8 to 15 mm compared to 200 to 250 mm for conventional continuous casting - means it is possible to save up to 75% during casting, heating and rolling.

The projects could thus transform the steelmaking, helping Europe develop light but strong metals through energy efficient production. “Europe’s steel industry can only survive with innovative products and technologies. We hope we can contribute to this challenge with our projects,” says Spitzer.

Projects details

    PROMS

  • Participants: Germany (Coordinator), Sweden
  • Project N° RFSR-CT-2003-00016
  • Total costs: € 934 489
  • EU contribution: € 560 693
  • Duration: September 2003 - August 2006

    EAF-PROMS

  • Participants: Germany (Coordinator), Sweden
  • Project N° RFSR-CT-2006-00005
  • Total costs: € 652 769
  • EU contribution: € 391 661
  • Duration: September 2006 - December 2008

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

PROMS information on CORDIS

EAF-PROMS web site

EAF-PROMS information on CORDIS

Contacts
Unit A1 - External & internal communication,
Directorate-General for Research & Innovation,
European Commission
Tel : +32 2 298 45 40
  Top   Research Information Center